Hockey World Blog

Phoenix Coyotes Season Preview: In Doan We Trust

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The Phoenix Coyotes had a scare in the off-season. No, I am not speaking about the never-ending saga of ownership woes, but the potential departure of Team Captain Shane Doan. Thankfully for the Coyotes, Doan has decided to stay with the team, giving the team not only life, but a leader.

Shane Doan was drafted to the NHL in 1995 by the Winnipeg Jets. The first round, seventh overall draftee began his NHL career that season. In 74 games played, the rookie posted a not quite high, but respectable, 7 goals and 10 assists for 17 points. Losing to the Detroit Red Wings in the Conference Quarter-final, his rookie season did not only come to an end, but playing in Winnipeg came to an end entirely.

The Winnipeg Jets became what is known today as the Phoenix Coyotes. Doan, the final player remaining from the Winnipeg Jets, became an unrestricted free agent in the off-season. Doan and his agent Terry Bross stated his wishes to stay in the desert, but with the franchise’s ownership still in question, he tested the waters.

“Shane is going to sign a contract before the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) expires on the [Sept.] 15th,” Bross said in an interview. “[Ownership has to] be done before the 15th, otherwise we’re signing somewhere because we don’t know what the new CBA is going to look like, and I don’t know if it’s going to limit any scope of a contract, so we want to make sure we sign before then.”

Doan listened to many offers, some reported to be quite good. Still, home is where the heart is, and Doan made clear his want to stay with the franchise.

As promised, Doan signed before the expiration of the CBA, signing a four-year, $21.1 million dollar contract extension with the Coyotes. At 35 years of age, the deal will most like see him through to the end of his career.

“I’m glad to get it over with and get the deal done,” Doan said from Jobing.Com Arena. “It’s a deal that’s been mostly done for a little while, but I wanted to wait a little while to see what happens.”

Doan’s deal is still technically not completed; prospective new owner Greg Jamison is still negotiation with the City of Glendale on an arena lease agreement and has yet to purchase the team from the NHL. The NHL has operated the team since 2009, where then owner filed for bankruptcy protection.

“As we went along, you kept thinking it was going to happen next week and I don’t know how many times we heard in two more weeks it’ll be done. Hopefully, in two weeks, it’s done,” Doan said with a chuckle. “At the same time, it did come down to a faith kind of a step and some hope, as well as this is the only organization I’ve been with. This is where I’ve been, this is where I’ve always wanted to be.”

A lot has changed for Doan, from Winnipeg to Phoenix, to owner to NHL to owner, and perhaps the biggest change of all, from rookie season to today. He has won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy for best exemplifying leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution to his community, the Mark Messier Leadership Award that recognizes an individual as a superior leader within their sport, and as a contributing member of society, and has also won three Silver Medals and two Gold Medals for Team Canada in the World Championships. In the last five seasons with the Coyotes, the Team Captain has averaged 79 games played, contributing 24 goals and 40 assists for 64 points.

With his accolades, his production and his leadership, Shane Doan is the heart and soul of the Phoenix Coyotes. With the combination of great leadership, an excellent coach and a mix of talent, it is only a matter of time before the Coyotes raise the Stanley Cup. For Doan, hopefully before the end of his career as he is definitely deserving.

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